HEALTH

Omron to partner with Microsoft HealthVault

BY Michael Johnsen

BANNOCKBURN, Ill. Omron Healthcare earlier this week announced a strategic relationship to support Microsoft HealthVault, Microsoft’s consumer health platform, enabling two Omron blood pressure monitors (HEM-790IT & HEM-670-IT) and a pedometer (HJ-720ITC) to be compatible and share information within the platform.

“Omron is devoted to providing accurate and high quality products, and we strive to deliver the latest technologies available to help our customers lead a healthy lifestyle,” stated Bob Kondraske, chief operating officer, Omron Healthcare. “We are excited to combine our device capabilities with HealthVault’s offerings to maximize the use of Omron products, and to play an active role in health management for consumers.” 

It marks Omron as one of the first diagnostic players to introduce a telemedicine-ready device to the mass market. A spate of such products are expected to reach the market this fall after Continua Healthcare Alliance, the standards bearer for telemedicine across consumer products and services, introduces its telemedicine guidelines, which are expected to reach their final form in July. The Alliance’s certification program should be available by October.

Microsoft’s HealthVault enables users to find, collect and share health information over time.

Omron users have a choice between two downloadable options to connect compatible devices to the HealthVault platform—a 32 and 64-bit device driver. Individuals can install their preferred driver to access and manage their health information through a free web-based account that enables them to collect and store information, as well as share this information with family members and physicians. 

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Study shows St. John’s wort ineffective on ADHD

BY Alaric DeArment

KENMORE, Wash. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that St. John’s wort is no more effective than a placebo at treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.

Researchers gave St. John’s wort and placebo pills to 54 children aged 6 to 17 in the Seattle area. The children’s ADHD symptoms did not improve significantly.

Bastyr University, in Kenmore, Wash., led the study. Researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle’s Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center also participated.

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AMO addresses contact lens safety for FDA’s opthalmic panel

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA ANA, Calif. In an Advanced Medical Optics presentation before the Food and Drug Administration’s Ophthalmic Devices Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee on Tuesday, the company addressed several general issues regarding the safety and effectiveness of contact lens solutions and demonstrated that infection control is a complex issue that involves more than the formulation of the solution itself.

“Rub and rinse has been proven to improve effectiveness against Acanthamoeba and other microorganisms,” stated David Hansen, director of professional services, AMO. “We firmly believe that it should be an integral part of an effective contact lens hygiene regimen.”

The company, which manufactures the Complete brand of eye care products, also shared information on ways to minimize the risk of infections such as Acanthamoeba keratitis among people who wear contact lenses and underscored the importance of proper handling, disinfection and hygiene when using contact lenses and contact lens products.

The company also addressed the FDA’s interest in evaluating preclinical microbiology test methods to better serve as predictors of real world product performance. AMO supports establishing standards for testing the effectiveness of contact lens solutions in effectively disinfecting against a broad range of organisms in the best interest of the patients who use its products. “We look forward to collaborating with the FDA on the most effective and appropriate path forward because we share their interest in controlling infections,” said Trenary. “Per our routine policy, we will comply with new FDA standards and/or labeling decisions and take any requested actions within the allotted timeframe.”

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